After Pakistan visit, Chinese FM embarks on Nepal trip

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The visit comes just a few weeks after the Nepali parliament ratified the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact with the US, against which China had displayed public displeasure….reports Asian Lite News

Amid a growing discontent in Nepal against Chinese investments and interference, Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi will arrive on a three-day visit to the Himalayan country starting March 25.

“At the invitation of Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon. Dr. Narayan Khadka, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China His Excellency Mr. Wang Yi is visiting Nepal from 25 to 27 March 2022,” Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed in a statement on Monday.

Wang’s visit to Nepal will follow his participation in a meeting of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) council of foreign ministers in Islamabad.

The visit comes just a few weeks after the Nepali parliament ratified the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact with the US, against which China had displayed public displeasure.

“We will listen to what the Chinese foreign minister has to say,” said Prakash Sharan Mahat, spokesperson of the ruling Nepali Congress, adding, “We will continue to enhance our relations with major powers and neighbors based on equality and national interest,” reported Kathmandu Post.

Following the MCC deal, the foreign ministry in Beijing reportedly concluded in its review that the Chinese presence in Nepal is weakening, hence, Foreign Minister Wang is being sent to Kathmandu to explore ways to turn things around, media reports said.

Foreign Minister Wang is expected to hold bilateral talks with his Nepali counterpart Dr. Narayan Khadka and is also expected to talk to various key leaders including President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, and former Prime Ministers and key leaders K P Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, the Nepal foreign ministry press release said.

Nepal has seen a rising discontent and suspicion among the people against Chinese projects and investments in the country, with recent large-scale protests against Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) project in Eastern Nepal’s Jhapa district.

Chinese officials say Wang’s main agenda in Kathmandu is to reassess Beijing’s geopolitical and security challenges, as China no longer feels secure in Nepal.

“Implementation of the BRI projects in Nepal is important for Beijing,” says a second Kathmandu-based Chinese official who has long liaised between Kathmandu and Beijing. He was also speaking on the condition of anonymity. “But this time Beijing is more worried about the security challenges emanating from the compact’s approval,”

During his visit, Foreign Minister Wang will also take stock of the political climate in Kathmandu, reported The Annapurna Express. (ANI)

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